Words and Phrases I Should Stop Using

I don’t know how I missed this indignant post from the The Chronicle of Higher Education, but better late than never: “Diss ‘Like,’“by Ted Gup. (Getting my torch and pitchfork, brb.)

Depending on how you do the math, there are between a quarter-million and a million words in the English language… Of all these hundreds of thousands of words, only one do I hold in contempt. That word is “like”—not the tepid expression of mild appreciation but the parasitic form that now bleeds the mother tongue, marks the user as a dunce, and, were it truly understood, scandalizes our schools.

No word has less meaning or says as much about what has become of education.

Raised and educated in 1990s New Jersey, I cop to over-using my share of the odious “like,” especially in my middle-school years. It became a verbal tic, a catch-all and a way to temper opinions, avoid absolutes and generally allow me to abdicate intellectual responsibility for what came out of my mouth.  Stuff I said didn’t really like, mean anything.

In pursuit of a certain voice or style of prose, I find I still fall back on crutch words similar to “like.” In that spirit, I submit that the following phrases should be expunged from all writing everywhere:

  • as a result of 
  • in order to
  • to help facilitate
  • seek to find, seek to establish, seek to understand (or really, seek to [any verb])
  • furthermore

And my personal peeve:

  •  due to the fact that
If I'm honest, this entire post can be shortened to one macro. Credit: icanhascheezburger.com
If I’m honest, this entire post can be shortened to one macro. Credit: icanhascheezburger.com